Cowboys’ Star Jay Novacek’s Son Sues Fraternity Over Hazing Incident
Blake Novacek, now 20, is a former student at the University of Oklahoma who pledged the Sooners' Gamma Phi chapter of Beta Theta Pi during his freshmen year. His attorney's legal filing 10 days ago alleges brain damage as a result of an injury sustained while being hazed in the campus fraternity house following OU's upset loss to the Texas Longhorns in the 2015 Red River Shootout. The charges noted in the lawsuit include negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, & civil conspiracy.
Dallas TV station WFAA reports that the son of the former Cowboys Super Bowl Champion & 5-time Pro Bowl Tight End was among pledges called to appear before more than 100 active & alumni Beta Theta Pi members in the early morning hours of October 11th. Novacek claims he was then blindfolded & asked to recite a series of "pledge facts". After responding incorrectly, he was hit in the stomach with a baseball bat, fell backwards, & hit his head on a hard object in the room, which knocked him unconscious. He didn't wake up until several hours later.
The story continues with post-hazing allegations of blackmail to Novacek, including threats to his family's reputation, if he ever revealed the incident to others. According to ABC News, Novacek says after he later discussed the events with another pledge, his car was vandalized. Over the next few months, Novacek's brain injury created memory problems that led to his grade point average falling from a 4.0 to under a 1.0. He subsequently dropped out of school.
Beta Theta Pi & the two individual fraternity members named in the suit have issued statements denying that any hazing actually took place. A spokesperson for Oklahoma stated the University investigates all reported violations of the Student Rights & Responsibilities Code, but refused to offer additional comment about its findings due to the pending litigation.